“Shopping Camaieu 100% for employees,” announces the Facebook page of the Roubais shopping center. According to the unions, the proceeds from the sales of the last three days must be used to improve training and retraining possibilities within the framework of the social plan.
It’s the crowd of sale days, in Roubaix as in many stores in France: the price is displayed at minus 50%, even minus 70%, and the last stocks disappear visibly.
“There is nothing left, it’s over, over” explains to a customer Emilie Vidart, saleswoman for eleven years at Camaieu, feverishly rearranging “Zen attitude” and “no worries” T-Shirts on racks.
“It’s a 100% emotional day,” she says. She wonders “if we will find that, a family atmosphere”, while a customer who came to buy a coat “out of solidarity” crushes a tear.
– “Dive into the unknown” –
For the northern ready-to-wear brand, employing some 2,600 employees in half a thousand shops, the ax fell on Thursday, after 40 years of existence.
The shareholder, Hermione People and Brands (HPB), a subsidiary of La Financière immobilière bordelaise (FIB) owned by businessman Michel Ohayon, failed to convince the commercial court of the reliability of its recovery plan, two months after the sign was placed in receivership.
The government for its part called into question a non-credible business plan, and a request for an advance of public funds “unbalanced” in relation to the contributions of shareholders.
“I also experienced a dismissal three years ago, I know what it’s like to dive into the unknown”, underlines in the Roubais store Djamila Bal, a client in her forties. “Can I give you a hug?” she asks a saleswoman.
“Even on Tik Tok, I saw videos on us, it touches us,” says Marie Lemouchi, a 29-year-old saleswoman. She is worried about leaving a “family-like” brand, but hopes to succeed in bouncing back.
In some stores, customers have even brought chocolates and soft drinks, reports Nordine Misraoui, CFDT delegate. “Tonight is like the end of life, we are going to unplug the machine,” he told AFP, deploring the “avoidable social damage”, while the company’s activities must stop. at 11 p.m.
– “Business” and “support” –
In Bordeaux, where the queue at the checkouts is also long, Ludivine Cochin, who came to “do business and support the employees”, was made aware of the company’s setbacks by “a cousin who works at Camaïeu in Burgundy”. “I liked this brand, I’m going to regret it”.
In Paris, in the Gare de Saint-Lazare shopping mall, Nini, a 66-year-old customer, finds this “disappointing”: “I thought until the last minute that they were going to have a buyer as some stores usually do” .
“We suspected it a little bit, in recent years it’s been a little difficult, we went into recovery two years ago, we were bought out. We’ll say that the company was a little wobbly”, philosopher Nadia, 42, assistant manager at Camaieu for five years.
“We have never had as many people as for three days, even during the sales period,” she notes.
In the store, an easel welcomes customers with a message from the team: “Sorry if we are struggling to welcome you as you deserve and as we would like. We are devastated and so tired. We are in mourning”.
Around flowered post-its of support: “sad news good luck to you all!”, “I wish all the Camaïeu staff to resume another professional path. You deserve it”.